Long Range Outlook

Just checked out all the maps/models and made the 7 Day forecast.  Not a whole lot going on the next few days.  Friday should be dry!

It appears some sort of upper level ridging is going to be near/along the West Coast for the next 10 days or so.  This time it won’t be totally dry though because it doesn’t appear to be a big blocking ridge that shunts storms well away from our area.  Note the ECMWF ensemble forecast of upper level heights for this coming Tuesday.


You see the above average heights over us.  Then by next Friday a nice cold trough runs right into California…good news for  them!


Beyond that, ridging builds along the coast again during the first full week in March.  Here’s one week later on March 7th:


These maps tell me we are done with the stormy weather for now, and it’s on to a more “March-like” pattern with wet periods mixed with drier weather at times.   Not a real warm pattern, but we should see our first 60-65 degree temp at some point between day 7-14.   With a chilly and wet February, one thing we did miss out on was any sort of “false spring” type weather.  In many Februarys we have at least a day or two in the lower 60s…not this year!

Here are the ensemble charts from the 12z ECMWF and 12z GFS, showing no sign of real cold air, but no huge ridges either.  Interesting to note that these would say no “lower Cascades & foothill ” snow in the next two weeks either.  I’m talking the 1,000-2,500′ elevations where some people live west of the Cascades.  This is an area that has seen an unusually low snow total this season.  It’s been arctic air with snow in the lowlands, or good snow higher up in the Cascades.   Almost none of the cold/wet shower pattern with snow levels around 1,000′ to 2,000′ the whole winter.  I’ve only had 7.5″ the whole winter at my home east of Corbett at 1,000′.



And some more maps, the ECMWF monthly run from last night, showing average 500mb heights.  Each map covers a whole week.  You see the ridging, and then by the 4th week just a jumbled mess.





Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

29 Responses to Long Range Outlook

  1. pappoose in scappoose says:

    Next post

  2. Andrew (Near Silver Falls 1600') says:

    Only 10″ of snow up here this winter. Even less than last winter when I had 16.75″. The winter of 2011-12 I had a staggering 98″ of snow!

  3. pappoose in scappoose says:

    “Slick roads and difficult driving conditions are possible if snow does fall. Please stay tuned to the latest forecasts and prepare for the possibility of snow this weekend!”

  4. Rob - Southeast Portland says:

    00z WRF tonight shows very strong east wind with a crazy 850mb/925mb temp gradient between Portland and The Dalles
    850mb: Portland +5c to +7c, The Dalles -6c to -8c
    925mb: Portland +3c to +5c, The Dalles -3c to -7c
    That’s an extreme inversion if I’ve ever seen one. The gradient looks to be at least 10mb. A peak of 12mb would not surprise me.

  5. Winter not fork ready… Yet.
    GFS sticking to a snowy solution for Sunday night for SEA. Will see…
    I agree, while a phenomenal comeback for the cascade snowpack, this has been a lame snow year in the foothills; I think I have had maybe 2-3″ here so far, way below average.

  6. boydo3 N Albany says:

    “a jumbled mess”..pretty much defines weather in general.

  7. Sapo says:

    Yeah, after this potential snow event for the gorge and the short-lived warm and dry period, we definitely look like we’re going into an average wet period.

    • Jesse-Stevenson says:

      Pretty much, although I’m not seeing the warm and dry period sandwiched between.

    • Sapo says:

      Mostly I’m talking about this weekend.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      Jesse, you never see a warm and dry period

    • Jesse-Stevenson says:

      Good one Mark! 😆

      Besides the potential for one advertised in the long range on the somewhat-reliable Euro weeklies, I have yet to see anything significantly warm and ridgy pop up in recent operational runs.

      A mild, ridgy period was indeed looking likely for next week about 3-4 days ago, but that has evolved into a rather complex pattern. A piece of the PV (part of a massive arctic airmass residing over central Canada) is now progged to brush Northeastern Washington and send a flood of low level cold westward toward the Pacific, just as the southern jet undercuts around Monday or so. Could get interesting out here!

    • High Desert Mat (Model Rider) Redmond Or says:

      Jesse, think it will affect the Redmond area on Monday?

  8. karlbonner1982 says:

    I hope we hear more later tonight about the upcoming Monday east wind pattern! This is sure a strange one, because there isn’t much cold support up at even the 850mb level. Basically you have a cold northeasterly surface wind sliding underneath not-so-cold air aloft in the Lower Columbia Basin.

    • Jesse-Stevenson says:

      I agree Karl. Really strange to hear no mention of that. The Gorge could see a significant snow event early next week!

    • karlbonner1982 says:

      And I hope Mark doesn’t yank out the Winter Forks until AFTER this event – because cold east wind is a more “classically winterlike way” to get Gorge snow, as opposed to a very cold onshore showery pattern in Feb. or early Mar.

    • Mark Nelsen says:

      To karl/Jesse: I didn’t mention it because I did last night. At least through today it still looks impressive for you guys. That alone will probably keep the forks away this evening.

  9. WEATHERDAN says:

    Today is the 15th straight day of snow or rain in Salem. During that time I have received 18.3 inches of snow and 6.05 inches of total precipitation. Realy looking forward to dry weather and 60-65 degree temps. Peace

  10. BoringOregon says:

    Well I had a dream. That we had a huge snow storm. But I’m looking for spring Gardening, and looking for that warm 70 degree weather!!

  11. The Bad Forecaster says:

    Hi Mark

    As of this morning the Longmire weather station at 2,762 feet inside Mount Rainier National Park had 29 inches of snow on the ground and is finally at it’s normal snow pack level for this winter. The Western Regional Climate Center records and normal data for Longmire shows the average snow pack depth to be 29.3 inches for February 20th.

  12. Trout Lake says:

    You are right about that Mark. Here in Trout Lake at 1900′ we have had far less snow than normal. Only about 26″ so far (all have come in the last three weeks). Normally we would be somewhere in the 80-100″ range by now. I am glad the mountains above 3000′ or so are getting dumped on at least.

  13. MasterNate says:

    I like maps. Mmmmmm.

  14. Jason Hougak says:

    Hey Eric I didn’t know you were so crafty, the part about sewing season made me laugh!
    Yes this winter has not been very productive with snowfall between the 1,000- 2,000 feet. There was a dusting last night in Welches on our way up to Ski Bowl.
    Owe did I mention the super fantastic excellent quality goodness up there. If you are any type of snow lover, this is the week to go up to the mountain.

    • W7ENK says:

      Well, I do know how to sew, so I’ve got that going for me. I am just now learning that there’s a season for it, apparently. 😆

    • Lurkyloo says:

      Speaking of sowing — Erik, you mentioned a while back something about a sunflower seed situation? What was that? I’ve been curious because I grow them every year. Just wondering …

    • W7ENK says:

      Thanks for the update, Mark!

      Looking forward to those 60-65 degree days after next week. It would be nice to have my yard dry out a bit, I need to burn things! Maybe I can get my garden prepped at some point, too? Time to dump in the compost and till in another layer of mulch. Sewing season approacheth…

    • W7ENK says:


      Thank you, Autocorrect, for that. :facepalm:

    • The Bad Forecaster says:

      Hi Erik

      No plans this year to grow anything up here this year other than what we already have. There is always at least a decent crop of raspberries here though and we have more than our share of rhubarb that we always have to give away. If you every swing through here in the summer months I can load you up with both. I can’t eat to much rhubarb because of the Vitamin K content.

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